The following announcement was written by Findmypast:
To mark the beginning of Black History Month UK, a range of historically rich new records join the site this Findmypast Friday. Findmypast will also be celebrating Black British History on their UK blog throughout the month of October.
Findmypast’s latest record releases highlight lesser-known facets of British history, important family events in the Caribbean and much more. They include;
London, Black Poor, 1786
Listing destitute Londoners, this small but intriguing collection provides a glimpse into a largely forgotten chapter of Black British history.
Over the course of 1785, it became apparent that increasing numbers of Black people were living in extreme poverty in London with no means of support. Although some were distressed mariners from both the merchant service and the Royal Navy, a significant proportion are thought to have been Black Loyalist refugees who were evacuated to Britain following American Revolutionary War.
Great sympathy was felt for the plight of these poor Londoners and support was initially a matter of private charity, beginning with a concerned baker and a bookseller. However, it developed during early 1786 into a broader group of affluent and influential figures – abolitionists, Quakers, philanthropists and others – and became formalized as the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor. In addition to providing a dole in the form of bread or alms, the Committee also provided healthcare facilities at a sick-house in Fitzrovia. The transcripts included in this collection document those who received support under the scheme.
Sierra Leone Resettlement Scheme, 1787
The Sierra Leone resettlement scheme of 1787 was designed to address the number of Black poor on the streets of London while populating the West Coast of Africa with loyalists who would establish industry and trading links in the British Colony.
After arriving at Frenchman's Bay in Sierra Leone on 10th May 1787, the venture soon proved unsuccessful. The new colonists were offered little to no official support and were expected to fend for themselves. There were many deaths due to disease, some hostility from the indigenous people and a number of those who did not die were captured by passing ships and sold into slavery.
The passenger lists for the vessels provide fascinating insights and group the colonists under a number of descriptions – the most common being single black men. Each transcript includes a passenger’s name, description, marital status, embarkation date and location as well as the name of the ship they sailed on.
Caribbean Marriage Index 1591-1905
Findmypast’s Caribbean Collection has been bolstered with over 15,000 new marriage records from Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.
Dating as far back as 1591, the records can reveal useful details for the Caribbean branches of your family tree. Discover the bride and groom's names, where and when they married and more.
Over 19,000 additional burials from three Devon cemeteries are now available to search on Findmypast. These new additions cover:
- Tavistock, Dolvin Road Cemetery (1834-1886)
- Tavistock, Plymouth Road Cemetery (1882-1995)
- Plympton, Drake Memorial Park (1943-1966)
Use these detailed records to find out where and when your Devon ancestors were laid to rest and uncover valuable details for searching Findmypast’s wider, extensive collection of Devon family records.
Over 95,000 new pages from three brand new titles have been added to Findmypast’s collection of historical British and Irish newspapers along with updates to 15 existing titles.
- Stratford Express covering 1877, 1888 and 1892-1893
- Flintshire County Herald covering 1896
- Principality (Cardiff) covering 1880
While more pages have been added to:
- Runcorn Weekly News from 1963, 1971-1972 and 1974-1976
- Liverpool Courier and Commercial Advertiser from 1892 and 1909-1910
- Fife News from 1881, 1884 and 1887
- Marylebone Mercury from 1947
- Waterford News Letter from 1849 and 1869
- John Bull from 1906-1945
- Dundalk Herald from 1887
- Shetland News from 1893
- Cork Daily Herald from 1900
- Call (London) from 1917
- Communist (London) from 1923
- Clare Advertiser and Kilrush Gazette from 1877
- Cavan Weekly News and General Advertiser from 1869, 1899 and 1904
- Strabane Weekly News from 1911
- Ballinrobe Chronicle and Mayo Advertiser from 1880